You can change your mindset with a 15-minute gratitude exercise.
To get the maximum benefits of gratitude, scientists recommend giving at least 15-minutes, 1-3 times a week to your practice.
The best way to start practicing is by physically writing down things you are grateful for. Writing by hand activates pathways in the brain that allow you to connect with your content on a deeper level.
The simple formula is I am grateful for _________.
Now, a 15-minute gratitude exercise can seem like a lifetime if you aren’t used to writing, so we’ve got some tips to help you get going.
- Get specific. Specificity is key for a gratitude practice. For example, writing “I am thankful for my friends” has a minimal impact. Whereas, “I am thankful for Jake and that time he brought me an ice-cold chocolate stout when I was feeling down after my car got towed,” adds layers and depth to your response.
- Get personal. Our brain is trained to think of material possessions when we make these lists. Break that habit by focusing on people and specific instances or qualities that make you grateful for them.
- Recognize Surprises. Research suggests that unexpected or surprising events create a larger gratitude impact. What has been a pleasant surprise lately?
- Be consistent. Find a time and place that works best for you. Make sure you’ve got at least 15 minutes, once a week. For example, maybe every Sunday after breakfast you carve out some time for gratitude. Whatever you choose, make a commitment and stick with it.